- As the ogres moved forward to smash the three adventurers, Rocky moved up to stab one of them with his swords while Ari and Hope engaged it with damaging cantrip spells. One of the ogres reacted to the party's use of magic by pulling a wand from its bag and attempting to use it on them, with no success. The other two ogres took turns clubbing Rocky, eventually knocking him unconscious, but not before taking significant injury themselves. When one of the ogres collapsed, the other two decided to run away.
- After a short rest and recovery, the group decided they would make their way to the graveyard site Sevren had told them about. Heading northwest through the forest as evening settled in, they happened to come upon a logging camp near the edge of the Harkenwood. They enjoyed some stew and conversation before resting for the night.
- The next morning, they were approached by the foreman of the logging operation. She told them that one of the woodcutters had gone missing last night and hadn't returned, and while she believed he was probably just passed out under a tree somewhere, she asked if they might look into it.
- Rocky tracked signs of passage north from where he was last seen, eventually discovering a man's boot that had some blood on it, and a large hunting knife with a green, sap-like substance on the blade. He told the others that there were Blights around, and that he suspected they must have abducted the missing woodcutter.
- The group followed the trail deep into a dark ravine where they found a man wrapped in vines and calling for help - and a number of vine covered creatures emerging from the wood around them...
- Realizing that the woman who was the werewolf may be unaware of her actions, Rocky decided to attempt to subdue the beast instead of killing it. The resulting struggle alerted the innkeeper, who eventually helped Rock tie up the creature. The innkeeper was quite distressed to hear that one of his staff was a monster and decided to go fetch one of the priests. Returning a short time later, the group of them discussed what should be done until daylight came and the poor woman reverted to her normal form. Rocky returned to Midrus' library and told the others about what happened.
- The group then took the pin the hag had given them - which they had determined was a "hag eye" - to the minister. They cautioned him that it was given to them by a green hag who may be able to see and possibly hear through the gem. They suggested he not put it where it might give away something important and perhaps they should surrender it to the dragon when it returns. The minister seemed somewhat hesitant to take the item until he saw it, at which point Hope noticed a covetous glint in his eye - along with a subtle sparkle that might have been a magical effect. When the group tried to warn a clerk about the minister's apparent "attachment", the clerk stormed into the office, loudly claiming bewitchment on the part of the party - particularly Hope, the tiefling.
- The party took their leave, deciding to return to the Smiling Griffin to speak again with Sevren. They had to wait around for him well into the evening, durning which time they were approached by an intoxicated quarry worker who told them he heard a howling sound coming from inside the caves. When Sevren did arrive, he was concerned about Rocky's report of a werewolf and went to speak with the Innkeeper. On the way, the party got directions from him to the overgrown graveyard he'd mentioned - believing the site might be related to one of the temples.
- The next day, the party decided to return to the 'grand avenue' ruin and speak with the hag again. The creature did answer some of their questions, telling them among other things that the last queen, Marcella, had intentionally destroyed Altea's Scepter and had her priests seal the pieces away.
- They were trying to get more information out of her when Ari mentioned Vuldas' name, whereupon the hag became agitated and paranoid. She turned on Hope, accusing her of seeking Vuldas out, and ranting that she would not be replaced. It was then that the hag commanded her ogres to attack...
- The source of the cackling began engaging them in conversation, asking them questions about who they were and why they were there - and continue prodding them until they gave her a clue as to what they wanted. As they conversed a trio of ogres casually approached the site. It wasn't until Hope mentioned Altea and the scepter - asking if the voice knew why it had broken upon the queen's death - that the speaker appeared, revealing herself to be a hideous green hag.
- She appeared delighted and promised them answers to their questions if they would do something for her: she wanted them to take a silver pin containing a big blue gem to Minister Gillyn, the leader of the town of Braydon Point. The hesitantly agreed and left the site without scuffling with her or the ogres.
- Before returning to Braydon Point, the group decided to make a detour to another ruin they'd heard about: a large stone manor that was said to be mostly intact in another part of the forest. There they found evidence of habitation, which Rocky seemed certain was a giant.
- The group investigated the inside of the stone manorhouse, finding the giant's "nest" in the entry hall, a rotten tapestry on the wall from which they could just make out a stylized rendering of an ancient, white-stone city, a locked metal door in a tower, and a few books with still-discernable passages.
- Whilte they searched, however, they heard the clattering sounds of something returning to the manor. Hearing the commotion, Hope moved out to investigate while trying to stay hidden. She spied a large hill giant bringing in its latest kill - a large dear - and generally rummaging around the entrance hall. Seeing a possible means of escape through a rotten doorway at the other end of the hall, Hope inadvertently caused it to collapse, alterting the giant to their presence. By scattering in different directions and employing some diversionary magic, the group managed to get away with a few damaged books - but without thoroughly exploring the site.
- Back at Braydon Point, the group met back up with Midrus who told them he'd found a tiny scrap of info on the entity "Vuldas" they'd mentioned to him before - apparently it was the name of a priest of Wee Jas in the service of Marcella, the last queen of Del'Celestine. Ari then presented the books she'd found at the manor, and the group of them spent the night looking through them for discernable texts that might be of use. The most pertinent details seemed to be passages related to the "three great temples" - one to the West, one to the East, and one to the North - each with their own role.
- Meanwhile, however, Rocky returned to the Angel's Ox Inn to get some rest. There, he chatted with Vedsa, one of the inn staff, as the last of the evening patrons departed for the evening. During their conversation, however, Vedsa seemed to become physically uncomfortable. She eventually excused herself but, on the way to the kitchen door began to convulse. When Rock got up to help her, he found himself face to face with a werewolf...
- The group ran outside and made their way toward the center of town, where the most commotion was coming from. They didn't intend to engage the dragon, but did want to see more specifically what was going on.
- In the center of town, the massive dragon paced back and forth within the town square, bellowing threats and burning the surrounding buildings with her firey breath. She was demanding the people bring her their treasure - and was apparently dissatisfied with what they produced. Ari was able to hear some of her draconic mutterings and discovered that she seemed to be debating whether to destroy the town or let it prosper so that she could plunder any wealth it gained. She also seemed to be concerned that it might somehow ally with someone or something she named as "Vuldas". Ultimately, the dragon took what was offerend and departed - warning that the town had better muster a more satisfactory tribute the next time she returns.
- The following morning, the three were "asked" to accompany a pair of guards to the slightly-singed town hall to speak with some of the lords gathered there. An abrasive middle-aged woman present was ranting about how the militia should be called upon to fight the dragon and even accused the party of leading it to the town. Minister Gillyn asked them for more details on their initial sighting of the dragon and whether they knew anything else about it, but they could offer little.
- From there, they made their way to the Smiling Griffin tavern to try to find a huntsman called Sevren. They had to wait around a while, but he eventually did arrive. He was able to tell them of several ruin sites in the area - including the vault-like "Stonehall" in the mountains, and an overgrown stone courtyard he called the "Grand Avenue". The latter caught their attention particularly due to his mentioning of a tiefling-like statue it its center.
- After acquiring specific directions, the party set out for the Grand Avenue ruin to investigate. As they neared the site, they were attacked by a trio of gricks, which they fought off without much trouble. At the site of the ruin, they found the an over grown street and surrounding columns made of the familiar white stone, but noticed that the tiefling statue was not composed of the same material. An inscription at the statue's base read "Our Indominable Lady, Queen Marcella"...
- The group returned to the main level of the temple ruin and ascended the stairs up to the lofted priests quarters. Their search didn't turn up much and was interrupted by some of the smaller spiders from outside coming to investigate, but they did manage to find a rusted key ring containing a key that opened the crypt below. Rocky had climbed a ladder up to something like an old bell tower from which he saw the form of an enormous red dragon perched on the cliffs some miles to the west.
- In the crypt below they found rows of shelves with skeletons laid out upon them. At the far end however, they found an odd tiefling-like statue holding a metal chest with the inscription in infernal reading "None shall weild this foresaken power".
- Upon prying the chest free, a number of the skeletons got up and began attacking them. While Ari and Rocky fought them off, Hope found the key to the chest on the keyring and opened it. Inside she found a 6" long rod that looked to be broken off of something. It seemed to be made of gold and a silvery metal and decorated with diamonds and glowing yellow gems.
- The group fought their way out of the crypt and left the temple ruin, continuing on toward the town of Braydon Point. They spoke with the priests at the temple of Pelor, asking questions about the ruin they'd found. They also mentioned the dragon and discovered that the town knew of it. The dragon was called Keldrexa, and she had apparently plagued the town for some generations but had been absent for long enough that the locals were hoping she was gone for good.
- After alerting the authorities to the dragon's return, the group proceeded to the home of an elf called Midrus who owned something of a library. There they were able to discover a bit more about the lost city of Del'Celestine, the angelic queen Altea the Graceful, her daughter Marcella, the fall of the city in a great war, and a little more about the legend of Altea's Scepter: specifically that it was made of gold, platinum, diamonds, and glowing yellow sapphires - and that upon Altea's death, it broke into pieces that were then given to the high priests of the three great temples.
- As they studied late into the night, they were disturbed by sounds of commotion outside - and the distant roar of a dragon...
- The three fought off the giant spider and its webs, eventually overwhelming it with Ari's holy light. Investigation of the altar room suggested that the temple had perhaps been repurposed during its history, as it bore some obscured markings of Pelor, but more recent symbols and references to a darker entity with the title Lady of Death.
- The door at the far end led them to the temple basement where they were attacked by a small horde of giant rats. They found a small tunnel behind a collapsed wall large enough for the rats, but too small for any of them. They also found the remains of a bunk room, a storeroom with more cast-off pelor emblems, and the locked entrance to a crypt...
|Saturday November 13, 2021 at 2:00pm||new campaign, d&d, altea's scepter, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
The kids asked it we could start a new D&D game - so, of course, we obliged. Since it's a bit simpler overall and I'd not run it before, we decided we'd do a 5e game this time.
We finished making characters this afternoon, and got rolling with the game.
- Hope [Hannah] :: Tiefling Sorceror
- Rocky [Micah] :: Wood Elf Ranger
- Ari [Sheri] :: Half-Elf Cleric
- The party made their way toward an area called Simon's Vale, and the far northeaster Braydon Point, pursuing the partial legend of a marvelous artifact called Altea's Scepter. It was apparently owned by a power queen or sun priest and was said to reside in a temple treasury.
- On a tip from some locals in the last village they stopped in, they decided to investigate a hilltop ruin a few miles off the road, said to have been the remains of an ancient temple.
- They found the hilltop covered in webbing, and had to watch their step around some dog-sized spiders. It wasn't until they got inside the ruin that they found the largest spider - a massive, 12' beast in the webs of the main altar room...